NFSA to restore rare footage of the opening of the Sydney Harbour by lindayy


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									                    NFSA to restore rare footage of the
                   opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Thursday 15 March 2007: The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) today
announced the restoration of an exceptionally rare 10-minute film that captures the
opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 19 March 1932.

The film is part of a newsreel specially shot for Paramount Pictures and has probably
not been seen by the Australian public since its commercial distribution over 70 years

“The visual quality of the footage is nothing short of exceptional and I’ve never seen
Harbour Bridge opening coverage like this,” said NFSA Curator of Moving Image,
Graham Shirley. The original camera negative is in wonderful shape and it contains
many striking shots, including a particularly funny segment of a mother entertaining her
son while the NSW Governor Sir Philip Game speaks. The pair completely steal the
scene from the Governor, making it a very amusing early ‘candid camera’ moment. It
would be wonderful if someone could identify the mother and son in this scene.”

The camera angles of the bridge opening used in this footage are mostly different from
those seen in other known recordings of the event. The film contains close-up
coverage of the parade moving on to the southern end of the Bridge and detailed shots
of the city backdrop and harbour filled with dozens of ships.

The film’s soundtrack includes a striking on-the-spot commentary, something absent
from all other known footage of the Bridge opening. The creative visual coverage of
the event combined with this unique voice-over captures the excitement of the crowd
and makes the film one of the most important recent cinematic additions to the story of
the Sydney Harbour Bridge opening.

“I’m thrilled but not surprised by this discovery”, said NFSA Director Paolo Cherchi
Usai. “The treasures of film archives are like rough diamonds embedded in
collections, and the NFSA holds thousands of them. It is through curatorship that their
cultural value is unearthed, allowing them to be preserved and made accessible to the

The NFSA holds the largest collection of newsreel and fictional material in Australia,
and has recently inaugurated a new online catalogue that allows fast, easy, in-depth
searching of NFSA’s massive collection of 1.6 million works.

Media Enquiries: Teri Calder Avviso PR for the AFC
ph (02) 9368 7277; 0425 230 679 Email:

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